Sanna Marin Out—Immigration Patriot Finns Party Real Winners In Finnish Elections
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See also: U.S.-Style Gang Culture Arrives In Snowy Northern Finland, Police In Shock

In the weeks leading up to Sunday’s General Election in Finland, 37 -year-old party girl Social Democrat Prime Minister Sanna Marin declared that she would never join a coalition government with the populist Finns Party because they are “an openly racist party.” This was partly because most Finns Party voters, according to a poll, agreed that “race is real” and 40% of them believed that black people have lower average IQ than white people. One third of Finns Party voters opposed race mixing, double the proportion of the mainstream conservative National Coalition Party [Sanna Marin kutsui perussuomalaisia rasistiseksi puolueeks, by Jari Hanska, Iltalehti, January 21, 2023].

The Finns Party Leader, Riikka Purra, denies her party is “racist” but she is clear that she is opposed to immigration, for economic and cultural reasons [Lapset tenttaavat Riikka Purraa maahanmuutosta—”Me emme ole rasisteja,” by Tatu Partanen, Iltasanomat, March 2, 2023]. Her party argues that immigrants to Finland are a drain on the economy and Finnish culture needs to be preserved.

Well, unless Marin is prepared to eat her words, she will now be out of government and she has certainly lost the Prime Ministership, allowing her to spend more time partying in nightclubs with her pop star friends as she did last summer [Sanna Marin: Finland PM partying video causes backlash, by Merlyn Thomas, BBC News, August 19, 2022].

 In Sunday’s nail-bitingly close and polarizing election, Marin’s party was narrowly beaten into third place by the Finns Party, which achieved its best ever result. The Finns Party was, in turn, narrowly beaten into second place by the free-market conservative National Coalition Party.

It might be tempting for her opponents to proclaim that Sanna Marin—a Woke extremist who introduced gender self-identification laws [Finland Improves Trans Rights Allowing Gender Self-Declaration, by Leo Laikala, Bloomberg, February 1, 2023] has been rejected by the Finnish electorate. However, this isn’t quite true. What the election points to—as the leader of the socialist Left Alliance, Li Andersson, admitted—is a kind of polarization, reflected in highly tactical voting to ensure that one’s desired “big party” is the biggest [Taktinen äänestäminen puhuttaa—näin puolueen puheenjohtajat kommentoivat ilmiötä medialle, by Johannes Ijäs, Demokraatti, April 2, 2023].

As I reported four years ago, the previous government was a left-wing coalition in which the largest party was the Social Democrats. It also included Centre Party (which had headed the government until 2019), the Green Party, the Left Alliance and a party that represents Finland’s small Swedish-speaking minority. Its Prime Minister, Antti Rinne, was forced to resign after a scandal involving the Finnish postal service. (As it happens, he lost his seat in Sunday’s election, which is conducted via open list proportional representation in a number of large regions.) Sanna Marin, then aged only 34, succeeded him as leader and as the world’s youngest Prime Minister—meaning that all of the parties in the coalition were headed by women, in four cases who were under the age of 40 [Feminism comes of age in Finland as female coalition takes the reins, by Emma Graham-Harrison, The Guardian, December 14, 2019].

In 2019, the Finns Party narrowly came second to the Social Democrats, while the National Coalition came third. Sunday’s election enthralled Finland because the gap between the National Coalition, the Finns and the Social Democrats was so small. At one point on Sunday night, as the counting progressed, the Social Democrats were ahead. But eventually, the final results emerged: The National Coalition took 20.8% and 48 seats in the 200-seat parliament. The Finns took 20.1% and 46 seats while Sanna Marin’s Social Democrats got 19.9% and 43 seats. All of these parties increased their vote share, and seat numbers, compared to 2019.

The casualties were the Centre Party, who lost 8 seats, mainly to the Finns Party, who, like them, have significant rural support; and the Left Alliance and Greens, who lost seats, almost certainly to the Social Democrats.

In other words there was a move to the right in Finland but there was also polarization. A portion of voters who previously “voted with their hearts” for the small Greens and Left Alliance wanted to make sure that Sanna Marin remained Prime Minister, something that would be far easier if her party was the largest, which it came very close to being. I have written before on what a relatively homogenous, united and conformist society Finland is. But could this be the beginnings of the kind of polarization that we are increasingly seeing in many Western countries?

One symptom of this polarization: It may be unusually difficult for National Coalition leader, Petteri Orpo, to form a government. Unless Sanna Marin resigns as SDP leader or U-turns, her refusal to work with the Finns Party means they cannot be coalition partners. The leader of the Centre Party has said that her badly wounded party will go into opposition, so that is not a potential partner either. However, the Finnish media has noted that the Centre Party said this when they were defeated in 2019 but, in the end, they joined the new SDP-led government [Saarikko sanoi, että keskustan paikka on oppositiossa—samanlainen viesti kuultiin myös vuonna 2019, by Joona Aaltonen, Helsingin Sanomat, April 3, 2023]. So this refusal may just be a negotiating tactic.

But for immigration patriots, the most interesting point in this election is that the party that opposes immigration came within a hair’s breadth of coming first, with its largest-ever vote and seat tally. The Finns Party and its policies, which include limiting immigration and slashing international aid, has gone from being a minor irrelevance with just 3 seats in 2003 to coming close to first place in 2023. And this rise has occurred precisely as Finland has moved from being completely Finnish to being “multicultural.”

So now we know that, as in Sweden, a key section of the Finnish electorate is determined to try to save their country from the policies of Woke, epitomized by Sanna Marin.   

Harri Honkanen [Email him] is a student of Scandinavia.

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